A garden and a library...
All I need is a garden and a library, right? Yes and no. I'm going to miss singing, but choirs are super-spitty things. We have gone back up a Covid level, so I semi-lock down myself- no choirs, no Silver Swans ballet classes. I have all the time in the world to read books and sort this sad garden of mine out, yes?
Monday 1st March
And I'm onto it. Yesterday I cleaned up the Laundry Garden. It's dry. The seat has disintegrated. Mint (I never planted it, honestly) has spread hither and yonder. My carpentry to provide support for the Banksia lutea has failed. Blast! But the Daphne bushes are thriving...
Today I'm watering the shelter Pittosporums down the driveway. The woody Lavateras are drooping, and even the Agapanthus look tired out. I want to have a productive day, so I can tell my garden I'm doing my best. Don't get me wrong. There is much beauty to enjoy - roses flowering again, lush, happy shrubs sparkling with greenery. But only where the irrigation reaches.
Moving Some Sheep
The paddocks are now being irrigated each night. Non-Gardening Partner is taking our cross-bred sheep (results of sneaky visits by next-door's black-faced ram) to the sale yards. All they do is munch grass, and we might run out of feed in winter. Our sheep are for merino wool.
A good reward...
A good gardener deserves a good reward, and mine will be to shampoo my hair and then go on a Youtube train. I'm in France. A bit silly, maybe? Don't care!
Thursday 4th March
Aha! Today's location of interest is the wee sandy courtyard in the Shrubbery. Alas, the shrubs desperately need some trimming, feeding, and watering. Have tentative started trimming and re-organising.
Pink Grootendorst Rugosa Roses
Cut a Corokia down severely, trimmed the edges of the rambling rose Souvenir de Mme Leonie Viennot, and then found three pink Grootendoorst roses in the undergrowth. Three! Struggling away, no decent soil, their meagre roots strangled by periwinkle. They've been in here for years. Dug them out, then came inside to think.
Results of thinking...
- The soil : needs topping up with organic matter etc.
- The shrubs : need trimming. Only the tough survive.
- The periwinkle : What to do?
Periwinkle has spread into here from the wilderness garden beyond. It doesn't mind that the soil is poor. I'd love to get rid of it. Hmmm... Big job. Still thinking.
Two days later, many hours work...
Ha! Thinking no longer. I've been sitting in the dirt slicing the ground with my spade. The periwinkle has been removed from a large area.
Apres Gardening Gardener
I've dug up and divided a green flax, removed a woody Hebe, two dead Scabrosa roses (oops), and two just-alive Blush Noisettes. Seven bags of horse manure are sitting in the wee courtyard, waiting to be spread, and I might even get some garden mix.
The species rose can stay - it, oddly enough, seems to be tough enough. And I've bought a shrub - another golden leafed Escallonia - to fill in the gaps.
Ha ha! Guess what I was doing in March eight years ago? Weeding out the periwinkle by the Shrubbery courtyard. Allow me to quote myself :
'I've 'fixed up' the rustic courtyard, plus its surrounding gardens (the Shrubbery) and the nearby wiggly path. Periwinkle (far-reaching, without my permission) is now only allowed on the far side of the old sheep fence. I have painstakingly dug out all trespassing pieces (I hope).'
I sound rather naive. And fancy letting periwinkle misbehave, unchecked, for eight years - what did I expect?
Beautiful Buster Cat
A wonderful reward : sitting on the rustic bench, feeling proud - Buster the black cat came to join me. We chatted (yes) about how beautiful she was, with her soft, slinky black fur and her flush of white on her throat. She smooched my patting hand and gently bit it. Hmm...